The September Equinox: The Spiritual Meaning of an Equinox

Equinoxes are a long-held tradition and occasion that happen every year. We have one happening this year, on September 22. For most esoteric and pagan traditions, equinoxes were extremely important days. On 9:31 AM ET, the September equinox 2021 will begin.

The September equinox, like all equinoxes, has a spiritually powerful meaning. Every year, there are two equinoxes: the March equinox and the September equinox. This equinox is also the Autumnal equinox or the Second Harvest in pagan mythologies. 

The other name of the September equinox is Mabon, while the March equinox is Ostara. These are times of transition, a time for a fresh start. People who understand the spiritual meaning of these days find contemplation and gratitude.

As harvest days, we enjoy the results of all our hard work. While enjoying it, we also find the chance to let go of things we no longer want to bring. Through that, we prepare ourselves to enter a new, fresh cycle of growth.

Through the equinoxes, a portal of energy opens. It gives everyone a chance to align themselves with the flow of the cosmos. Such energy is no mean thing; it helps us affect significant life changes.

Nature affects everyone, and the equinox is no different from any part of nature. It brings a kind of energy unique to itself, the same way a September solstice does. Cosmic energy from such an equinox on a harvest time like September is powerful, to say the least.

Because of this, ancient pagans wisely showed such times the due respect. Even pagans knew to respect nature and the energy it brought. So they were careful to note such days like equinoxes and solstices and act accordingly.

What is the September Equinox?

During an equinox, the hours of night and day are in perfect balance. “Equinox” is from the Latin language, and it means equal night. On the March and September equinox, the sun perfectly aligns itself with the equator. When it happens, the day and night of the equinox have exactly the same length. This tends not to be the case for most other days.

So when is the September equinox? The September equinox date this year is September 22, 2021, at 9:31 AM ET. It’s no coincidence that the equinoxes begin in the Aries and Libra seasons. These Zodiac signs represent the Self and the Other.

Naturally, both of these are cardinal signs. They fall on the date of the autumnal equinox and mark the beginning of the seasons. On equinoxes, we see the rare occurrence of a time when light and dark balance each other perfectly. It has the potential to increase our own self-awareness and help us meet our shadow without hostility.

Spiritually, the equinox in September is an invitation. It’s a call to spiritually reflect on our imbalances in personal life. How are we doing in our relationships with other people? As the sun transitions through Libra, the September equinox is a chance to develop self-awareness.

The September equinox opens the portal of energy to facilitate deeper self-understanding. It will also help us better understand the people around us. Unconscious dynamics are at play in every situation. So the equinox is a great time to balance our masculine and feminine energies.

The History of Equinoxes

There are ancient observatories and other means through which people watch the sky. They’re all over the world in many shapes and forms. Even then, people were well aware that the place of sunrises and sunsets changed daily. To that end, they built sacred places to measure and celebrate these changing seasons.

All around Europe, for example, people used massie stones. These rocks would end up composing circular monuments. The ancients would align these in a way to signal the coming of the equinox or solstice. Owing to their perfect alignment with the sun, it worked every time.


A great example of such a stone monument is none other than Stonehenge. It’s one of the world’s most famous astronomical monuments and it’s a sacred site to the Druids. Huge monoliths in concentric rings make up the monument of Stonehenge. 

Modern pagans and Druids still visit the site regularly today. They await the sunrise on a solstice or equinox to perform their rituals and celebrate the harvest. You’ll see several similar harvest festivals from the Native Americans. Harvest Full Moons fall close to the equinox, and it’s the peak moment of their parties.

After they store and process the harvest, the Native Americans bring offerings of food to their tribal elders. They make similar offerings to great spirits and their ancestors. Practices like that honor the Earth and show gratitude for her blessings.

Atop the sacred mountain of Macchu Pichu, Incas honor the equinox in South America. Intihuatana is the name of their sacred stone, which signals the exact alignment of the sun with the equator. It sits atop Machu Picchu and forms an exact alignment with all four cardinal directions.

Attuning Yourself to Solar Energy

Through the millennia, every culture around the world has found a way to mark and honor their seasons. On top of keeping track of time, season tracking was a way to celebrate culture in each society. The sun is just that important; it doesn’t just give us life through agriculture. It is also a cultural symbol.

In Japan, for example, the sun directly has a divine persona in the form of the goddess Amaterasu. Central American empires like the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans all had their own sun rituals as well. The Chinese represent the sun as energy in the form of the figure Yang, opposed by lunar energy in Yin.

Even today, people believe that solstices and equinoxes symbolize a particularly important time. Such a time meant that the veil between the physical and abstract dimensions was growing thinner. During a time like that, spiritual communication and other astral feats are that much easier.

Equinoxes are extremely potent times for you to attune yourself to solar energy. Align yourself with that energy and sungaze; any time will do. Sunrise or sunset both work just as well. If you sungaze, you gain the potential to raise your vibration.

Energy blockages will dissolve as the solar energy helps you unlock your pineal gland. For those who don’t know, the pineal gland is also our Third Eye, or Third Eye Chakra. Those who can see astral beings and spirits are most often those with opened Third Eyes. And their eyes open with attunement to solar energy.

Spiritual Growth and Facing Your Darkness

Hades and Persephone

To the Ancient Greeks, Mabon represents the beginning of the six-month periods of autumn and winter. Their legend holds that Demeter, goddess of agriculture, had a daughter named Persephone. Hades kidnapped her and they married, but Demeter wouldn’t rest until she got Persephone back.

She was so distraught because of the loss of Persephone that autumn and winter happened, killing Greek crops. The people starved. Until Hades and Demeter worked out a compromise. Their deal was that Persephone would spend the first half of the year out of the Underworld. The second half, she would spend with Hades.

Autumn equinoxes signal the return of Persephone to the Underworld and the beginning of Demeter’s mourning. Mabon is a reminder that it is a necessary rite of passage to descend into the darkness. Before we can ascend like Persephone and return to the light above, we must go below.

That way, we will rise from the darkness of our underworlds stronger still. Once we return, that will signal the end of the six months of autumn and winter. Ostara will signal our Persephone’s ascension and our own back to the world of light. Think of it as a reminder for our spiritual growth.

There can never be darkness without light, nor light without darkness. Though we suffer periods of spiritual grief and crisis, abundance and joy are never that far away. Demeter can find joy in the world again by seeing her daughter after six months away. If she can do it, you can find it in your world too.

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